- Plant pansies for fall color and, if you select winter pansies, early spring blooms. Asters and mums are available
- Sow seeds that require a cold period for germination, such as poppies.
- Hold new plants for a week or two until the weather cools a bit more than start planting perennials, shrubs and trees. Hold bulbs until October.
- Divide and replant summer blooming perennials as they finish flowering.
- Allow the final flush of flowers to go to seed. Many provide food for the birds and small mammals during the fall and winter.
- Take cuttings of those annuals that you want to winter over.
- Order asparagus, rhubarb, bulbs, flower and fruit plants, and shrubs for fall planting.
- Shop nurseries for end-of-season bargains or new fall arrivals.
- Weed often and cut off flowers of any weeds you don’t get pulled out.
- Deadhead flowers and trim damaged, diseased, and dead foliage to keep beds tidy and encourage reblooming. In particular, keep irises and daylilies from forming seedpods.
- Allow peony greens to grow until fall and then cut back.
- Apply preemergent herbicides to garden beds at recommended intervals, 4 to 6 weeks for annual weed control.
- Seed, overseed, dethatch and aerate lawns September through mid-October.
- Apply broadleaf weed control, September through mid October.
- Install sod as the weather cools, September and October.
- Treat for chinch bugs and sod webworms.
- Purchase fertilizer and, if desired, apply now until mid October
- Cut as needed, based on growth
- Fill in holes and low spots in lawn. Apply corn gluten based weed control in the garden; reapply at four to six week intervals.
- Stop watering amaryllis bulbs. Allow the bulbs to dry out and go dormant. Store in a cool dry area until they resprout in about 8 to 10 weeks.
- Bring in plants as nights cool to 50 degrees. Repot those that need it and pot up others you want to winter over indoors
- Remove spent plants from vegetable gardens and compost healthy ones. Destroy or trash diseased or infested plants.
- Water new plantings regularly
- Repair or replace damaged screens and garden hoses.
- Dump standing water
- If you use corn gluten based weed control in the garden, follow a schedule for reapplication, usually at four to six week intervals
- Provide deer, rabbit and groundhog protection for vulnerable plants. Reapply taste or scent deterrents.
- Clean and fill bird feeders regularly. Clean up spilled seed and empty hulls. Dump, scrub and refill birdbaths at least once a week.
As summer gets hotter and fall approaches, wasps, hornets and yellow jackets appear in full force. They seem to know exactly when to arrive to spoil your barbecue, picnic or patio use. No one wants to get a wasp sting, and some of us are allergic, so the problem needs immediate attention when wasps appear.
Several people in my family are allergic, so we have tried all the tricks to get rid of wasps, hornets, and even start looking into how to keep yellow yellow jackets away. We want to share my best tips here to help others who may be wrestling with these pests.
- How to Keep Wasps Away from You or What do Wasps Hate?
- How to Keep Wasps Away Indoors or Outside
- How to Keep Wasps Out of the House
- 9. Keep the House in Good Repair
- 10. Check the Yard
- 11. Plant Wasp-Deterring Plants in Your Yard
- 12. Eliminate the Wasp Nest
- 13. Get Rid of a Wasp Nest with Dish Soap and Water
- 14. How to Get Rid of a Wasp Nest in a Hole in the Ground
- 15. How to Keep Wasps Out of My Car
- 16. How to Keep Wasps Away from My Deck or Patio
- Topics Covered
- How to Keep Wasps Away From Your House
- General Tips to Removing a Nest
- 4 Methods to Kill & Remove Wasps
- Final Thoughts
- How to Get Rid of Ground Hornets
- Getting Rid of Wasp and Hornets
- Recommended Wasp Control Products
- Difference between a Wasp and a Bee
- Types of Wasps – Social Wasps and Solitary Wasps
- Where Do Ground Hornets Live?
- Telltale Signs Of An Underground Hornets Nest
- Ground Hornets Life Cycle
- Ground Hornet Nest Removal – What It Means
- When To Remove Ground Hornets
- How To Get Rid Of Ground Hornets – Removal Methods
- How to Safely Get Rid of a Wasp Infestation
- First, Know What You’re Dealing With
- Wasp or Bee?
- Spotting the Nest
- Using Chemical Treatments
- Treat Wasp Nests at Night
- Nonchemical Alternatives
- Finish the Job
- Getting rid of wasp nests: what to do & what not to do
- How to Get Rid of a Wasp Nest
- How to Spray a Wasp Nest
- How to Get Rid of Hornets in Bushes
How to Keep Wasps Away from You or What do Wasps Hate?
1. Avoid Perfumes and Lotions that Attract Wasps
Sweet smelling perfumes and lotions, especially those based on flower scents, attract wasps to you. Avoid wearing these scents when you are outdoors for any length of time.
2. Wear a Wasp Repellent Spray
If you seem to attract the pests, or if you are allergic, it is worthwhile to consider wearing wasp repellent the same way you would wear mosquito repellent. You can make your own from essential oils that wasps hate.
How to Make Wasp Repellent
- In a small spray bottle mix:
- One cup of water
- Five drops of spearmint essential oil
- Five drops of thyme essential oil
- Five drops Lemongrass essential oil
Spray wasp repellent your clothes and skin every few hours while you are outdoors. This spray is completely safe for children and pets.
How to Keep Wasps Away Indoors or Outside
3. Remove Leftover Foods Immediately
When picnicking, barbecuing, or just enjoying an outdoor meal, put away all foods quickly. It is tempting to linger over the meal, but the longer the food is out, the bigger the chance of attracting wasps and other swarming pests.
4. Avoid Providing Other Foods that Might Attract Wasps
Pet foods, nectar, and bird foods can also attract wasps and other pests. Keep this put-away or relegate them to an unused part of the yard when you are using the deck or patio.
If you like the hummingbird feeder near your window where you can see the birds, be aware that it will also attract wasps and other insects. Move it away when using the outdoor space. Since how to make hummingbird food also applies to how to make wasp food, it can be challenging to feed one species and not the other.
5. Use Wasp Decoys
Decorative wasp decoys can keep paper wasps from settling in your yard. Wasps are territorial and will not move in near another nest. Placing one or two decoy nests around your yard might prevent paper wasps from nesting in the area.
This strategy works well if you set the decoys in the spring when wasps are emerging from hibernation and beginning to build their nests. Once the nests are established, it is probably too late. Try again the following spring.
6. Use Wasp Traps
Commercial or homemade wasp traps are very useful for catching a solitary wasp. These traps are a good solution if you see an occasional wasp in your area, or for trapping until you can get rid of the nest. You can make your wasp trap from a two-liter bottle.
Your aim is to make it easy and attractive for the wasp to fly into the trap, but then make it impossible for him to fly out. By inverting the top of a soda bottle and re-attaching it to the base, you easily draw the wasp into the funnel, but he cannot fly out and there is nowhere to perch in order to crawl out.
How to Make a Wasp Trap
- Cut the top few inches off a two-liter soda bottle
- Place it inside-out into the bottom of the bottle
- Duct tape the two pieces together
- Pour an inch of soda, or other sweet liquid into the trap
Set the trap in an area where you have seen wasps or yellow jackets. Once wasps are trapped, discard the entire trap and make a new one.
7. Vacuum up Single Wasps
Slow moving wasps resting on your walls or floors can be quickly sucked up with a vacuum cleaner. This method works well in the spring when wasps are coming out of hibernation and are sluggish. It is also a very effective method to keep flies away.
Later in the summer they are more energetic and may get away. Be careful to avoid a wasp sting.
8. Avoid Swatting Wasps
This may seem like strange advice, especially if you have a single wasp buzzing around your home; but dead and dying wasps emit pheromones that attract other wasps. By swatting and killing one wasp, you might attract many more to the spot.
It is best to trap the wasp or encourage it to leave the house if possible, then watch for where it returns to the nest.
How to Keep Wasps Out of the House
9. Keep the House in Good Repair
The first step in keeping wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets out of the house is to keep the house well sealed. Check your home for broken panels, holes or loose siding, gaps in soffits, and other crevices where wasps can get in and possibly build a nest.
Repair holes in window screens, screen doors, and seal gaps around doors and windows. Prevent a wasp, yellow jacket or hornet nest by being proactive.
10. Check the Yard
Yellow jackets and some other paper wasps build nests in holes or existing burrows in the ground. Check your yard for existing rodent holes and tunnels where they might find a home. If you see these wasps flying around your yard, watch to see where they nest.
Don’t approach the nest until you are ready to eliminate it or you could end up with some nasty stings. See below for information on how to eradicate this type of nest.
11. Plant Wasp-Deterring Plants in Your Yard
Wasps are attracted to flowers and sweet-smelling plants, while other scents repel them. Use repellent plants in your garden, especially close to the house. These will not only work to repel wasps but also keep mosquitoes away. You can plant them in among your flowers or vegetables, create a separate herb garden, or plant them in containers on your patio.
Plants that Wasps Hate
Use care when using wormwood. This boxy shrub is poisonous to people, small animals, and surrounding flowers and plants. It does an excellent job of repelling wasps, but might not be a good choice if you have pets or small children around.
12. Eliminate the Wasp Nest
Find the nest by watching the wasps for a few minutes to see where they are entering and exiting. Do not approach the nest until you are ready to spray it. Wait until early morning to spray the nest. All the wasps will be asleep inside, and you will get as many as possible this way. They begin to become active around 8 am, so prepare to spray well before 8, preferably at the crack of dawn.
Be prepared. Wear protective clothing: heavy jeans, a hooded sweatshirt, shoes and socks, and leather gloves. Cover as much skin as possible. Plan and clear an easy exit path. Once the wasps are angry, you don’t want to be stumbling around trying to decide how to get away
Have two full cans of commercial wasp spray ready. Aim the first spray at the main opening, usually near the bottom of the nest. Spray a steady stream of wasp spray for at least 10 seconds. Then spray the secondary openings for as long as possible. Quickly leave the area and take refuge indoors if you see any activity or when you have used all your spray.
Watch the nest for activity, from a distance. If wasps continue to enter and exit during the day, repeat the spraying the next morning.
Places to Look for Wasp Nests
- Holes in yard
- Gaps in soffits
- Holes in sheds or garage
- Under the house or deck
- In light fixtures
13. Get Rid of a Wasp Nest with Dish Soap and Water
Be careful to follow these instructions carefully so that you don’t get stung. You want to spray the nest at night or in the early hours of dawn when the wasps are asleep. Do not try this during the day when the wasps are active. Wear protective clothing and prepare your exit path ahead of time.
Use a hose spray attachment filled with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of dishwashing liquid and water. You want a thin liquid that flows well but contains a lot of soap. Blast the nest with a powerful spray of water and soap, covering the nest from all angles. Keep up the spray until the nest is thoroughly soaked and no wasps are emerging. Leave the area immediately
14. How to Get Rid of a Wasp Nest in a Hole in the Ground
Locate the nest during the daylight and mark it so you can find it in dim light, but wait until the middle of the night or very early morning to treat it. Mix a 1/4 cup of dishwashing detergent in a large bucket of water.
Pour the soapy water into the hole or burrow and cover the hole with the upended bucket to trap any wasps that try to escape. Leave the bucket in place for several days to make sure all wasps are dead.
15. How to Keep Wasps Out of My Car
The last thing you need when driving is to have a wasp attack. Fortunately, this is easy to prevent. If wasps have found their way into your car, place some fresh spearmint leaves or some mint tea bags in the car and leave the windows open so the wasps can escape.
Replace the mint whenever the scent dies down, and this should solve your wasp problem in the car. If the wasps do return, look under the hood and under the car to determine whether they have made a nest somewhere inside or nearby.
Hopefully, these tips will help you eliminate wasps for good. If the problem continues, find the nest and eradicate it. Be especially proactive in the spring, before the wasps have established their nests for the year. Once the nests have been built, you may have to kill the nest to get rid of the wasps.
16. How to Keep Wasps Away from My Deck or Patio
Following the tips above will help you keep wasps away from the patio or deck. A combination of strategies is useful and usually more effective than any single method. If you are seeing many wasps, find and eliminate the nest. Keep your patio clean and avoid any food leftovers laying around. Otherwise, avoid attracting them and use a trap to catch those that do come buzzing around.
Keep Wasps Away from the Patio
- Put away food promptly
- Use potted plants that repel wasps
- Place wasp traps outside of the patio
It’s never a good idea to plant the most fragrant flowers around your deck or patio, even though it may be tempting. The smell that is pleasant for you is also attractive to wasps and other flying creatures. Or, you could plant those plants in pots and move them around as needed.
Let me know how these tips work for you, or if you have additional ways to get rid of wasps. I’ve tried to be thorough here and list all the methods that have worked for me, but I’m sure there are other methods that also work.
If we all help one another, we can solve these kinds of problems. Spread the word by sharing this article on social media so that others can find it easily. Good luck in your war on wasps.
- How to Keep Wasps Away
- Tips for Safely Removing a Nest
- Methods to Remove & Kill Wasps
Wasps. The winged menace that take over patios and gardens all around the world. The evil cousin of the honey bee that fears no human.
Well, that’s their reputation, but an obvious exaggeration.
For the most part, wasps, hornets and yellow jackets generally try to avoid human interactions. Regardless, very few homeowners welcome the spring invasion of nests. It’s always preferable to ensure that these insects are kept away, especially if their nest is near a doorway or other area that increases your chances of crossing paths.
With this in mind, let’s discuss some methods that every homeowner should know to get rid of wasps, create an unwelcome environment, and, most importantly, help you avoid getting stung.
How to Keep Wasps Away From Your House
Like many other insects in your garden, wasps are going to go where they believe food is. So, if you want to limit the amount of wasps living near your home, then you need to attempt to limit their food source. This means ensuring that no food is left out in the open. Especially, sugar sweets and fruit.
During the summer, you may enjoy having a meal in your backyard. All that food can be rather enticing for wasps, yellow jackets and other insects. That is especially true if you have anything sweet in the vicinity such as an open can of soda or juice box. Always cover your drinks if you are outside.
Grow Plants That Wasps Don’t Like
A great way to prevent wasps from living around your home is to grow plants that will deter them. This is an ideal solution for homeowners that want to keep wasps at bay, while also adding beauty to their yard.
Generally, wasps do not go near the following plants:
Incorporating these plants into your landscaping will help create an environment that wasps and hornets do not like. Therefore, they will likely look for another location to build their nest.
Bonus: A few of these plants also repel other pesky insects, such as mosquitoes.
Maintain Your Fruit Trees
Additionally, you want to be mindful if you have any fruit trees in your yard. Throughout the year, a piece of fruit may fall off and smash to the ground. With all the sweet juices now in the open, it can attract certain pests, including wasps.
Try not to make the area more appealing than it needs to be. Regularly inspect underneath your fruit trees and remove any pieces of fruit as soon as they hit the ground.
Create & Hang a Fake Nest
Wasp colonies are incredibly territorial. If wasps believe there is another colony already living in the area, then they are likely going to look elsewhere to make a home.
There are a couple of ways to accomplish this. The easiest method would be to buy a fake nest online. Or, you can make a fake nest with a brown paper bag.
How to make a fake wasp nest:
- Fill your brown paper bag with crumpled newspaper or debris.
- Close off the opening with sting or tape.
- Crumple the bag a little bit, to give it the appearance of a hornets nest.
- Hang it in the area where you don’t want wasps buzzing around.
This is a great way to deter wasps, as they will not want a confrontation with other colonies already living in the area.
Other Ways to Prevent Wasps From Living Near Your Home
While the food source is going to be the best method, there are a few other ways you can deter wasps and yellow jackets from living around your home.
Seal Cracks, Window Frames & Entry Points:
Before summer comes around, you should thoroughly inspect your house to see if there are any cracks or other entry points in the siding. You should also inspect door and window frames to make sure there are no areas for wasps to get into.
You also want to avoid wearing any sweet perfume during the summer. The scent you are emitting can attract the pests.
Finally, avoid wearing clothing that contains flower imagery or is generally bright. That can catch wasps’ attention, and they may curiously come to you to see if you are actually a flower.
TL;DR — If you do not give wasps a reason to buzz around your property, then they are probably going to go elsewhere and leave you alone.
General Tips to Removing a Nest
If you decide you want to get rid of a wasp nest on your own, then it would be wise to understand and follow these general tips.
Wear Protective Equipment:
Keep yourself safe by wearing long sleeves, protective eyewear, and gloves. If you have a bee hat, that would be ideal. But, most homeowners will not have these.
Neutralize at Night:
To ensure you kill the entire colony, as well as the queen, it is recommended that you exterminate the nest at dusk or night. Not only are wasps and hornets less aggressive at this time, but the entire colony will be back in the nest for the night.
Locate & Target the Opening:
If possible, try to locate the opening of the nest. This will usually be located near the bottom. Spray your soapy water or pesticide in this area first, and then target the rest.
Do Not Stand Below the Nest:
Most wasps and hornets will fall the moment they get sprayed. Because of this, you should not stand directly below the nest, unless you want to be exposed to chemicals or get stung by falling wasps.
4 Methods to Kill & Remove Wasps
In the event that you notice wasps, hornets or yellow jackets buzzing around your home, then your already beyond prevention. You’ll need to find a way to remove them.
The easy way would be to simply spray them with pesticide. But, do you really want to spend money to spray a poisonous substance around your home? Instead, try using a few of these tips to help you get rid of wasps naturally.
1) Spray With Soapy Water
An easy, DIY alternative to spraying pesticide is to create a solution of dish soap and hot water. Spray this onto the nest. This is the recommended first step that every homeowner should try. This will kill the wasps naturally and, most of the time, instantaneously.
How to Make:
- Mix solution in a spray bottle.
- For every cup of hot water, you’ll want to add 2-3 oz of dish soap.
- Shake vigorously.
- Spray directly onto nest while the water is still hot.
Stay mindful of your escape route. Once you apply the soapy water, it is likely that you will agitate the hornet nest and they may try to attack. You could also try mixing in other detergents that are around your home.
- Safe for all occupants and pets.
- Cheap and easy to make.
- Likely, you already have all supplies.
2) Suck Them Up With A Vacuum
Another easy way to remove wasps are to suck them into your vacuum cleaner. Most homeowners have a vacuum in their home, making this a zero cost way to remove adult insects.
Simply use the attachment hose, get close to the nest and turn it on. This will suck the adult wasps into the vacuum, containing them in an area where they pose no risk to you. Of course, this means you have to be brave enough to get close to the nest.
- Costs nothing.
- Need to get close to the nest, and are more likely to get stung.
- You still need to destroy the nest.
3) Set Up Traps
If you don’t want to go near a nest and risk getting stung, you should consider setting up a few traps. There are a variety of different traps that will work.
You will want to hang these traps in areas where you, your family and your guests are not going near.
These traps consist of sweet-smelling solutions so wasps and other pests go to it and end up getting stuck. You can purchase wasp nests or make your own if you want to make it a DIY project.
- Glue Trap — Widely available online and at many retailers, this type of trap is covered in sticky adhesive that makes it difficult, if not entirely impossible, for wasps to fly away after they’ve landed on it. While an effective method, this type of trap is often criticized due to its ability to trap other insects and the slow nature in which they die.
- Bait & Lure Trap — Another trap you can use is a bait and lure trap. There are many versions available, including a few you can make yourself, but they all essentially accomplish the same task: Use bait to lure a wasp into the trap, where they are unable to escape.
How to Make Your Own Wasp Trap
- Cut the top off of a plastic 2-liter bottle.
- Fill the bottom part with sugary water.
- Turn the top part upside down, with the bottle top pointing downward.
- This configuration makes it difficult for a wasp to fly out.
4) Spray Nest With Insecticide
If the above methods fail or you just prefer to start with a commercial insecticide, here are some general tips you should know before you buy.
It’s important that you get an pyrethrin or pyrethroid insecticide. The EPA has tested and determined that these “do not pose risk concerns for children or adults.”
Look Closely at the Label:
The words on the label are important. If you’re trying to kill wasps or hornets, make sure to buy an insecticide that is specially formulated for these pests. These will typically have “WASP” prominently displayed.
Caution vs. Warning:
Another important factor are the “signal words” on the label. Insecticides labeled with “Caution” are going to pose less of a risk to humans than those labeled with “Warning.” Either way, they’re both toxic. With this in mind, you should always exercise caution and take measures to protect yourself while using any insecticide.
Keep in mind: Simply knocking down a nest is not a complete solution. The remaining wasps will build a new one.
These are a few of the tips to get rid of wasps around your home. However, despite your best efforts, the day may come when you get stung. Clean the site immediately when this occurs. You may need to apply some antihistamine if it begins to hurt. In the event you have an allergic reaction to a wasp sting, you need to seek medical attention immediately.
How to Get Rid of Ground Hornets
Ground hornets may build nests in rotted tree stumps and spaces in walls or ceilings, but they usually build their nests in rodent burrows. These nests are usually inaccessible and can’t be removed. It’s best to leave hornets alone unless they pose a threat — but if they do pose a threat, ground hornets must be trapped or poisoned.
The easiest and safest way to get rid of a hornets’ nest is to call a professional. If you decide to take care of the problem yourself, locate and mark the nest entrance during the day, but take all action at night when the insects are likely to be inside the nest and less active. Wear protective clothing like boots, coveralls, heavy gloves and veiled headgear when approaching a hornets’ nest. Tape down your collar and the cuffs of your pants and sleeves . Set up any lighting you plan on using some distance from the nest because the hornets may be attracted to the light . Then try one of the remedies listed below:
- Soap and water may be the easiest way to deal with the problem. Pour a solution of soap and water into the nest entrance.
- Insecticide dust is the best way to kill the colony. Spray the nest entrance every three days until there is no daytime activity around the nest.
- Purchase lure traps and hang them in the area that you want to be clear of hornets. Hang the traps 2 to 4 feet (60.96 to 121.92 centimeters) above the ground in an area that is roughly 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (26.67 to 29.45 degrees Celsius). Empty and clean the traps every three to four weeks. Although traps won’t eliminate hornets altogether, aggressive trapping can significantly reduce their numbers.
If you’re allergic to wasp or bee stings or if you don’t have the appropriate equipment, don’t attempt to get rid of the hornets’ nest yourself — call a professional .
Getting Rid of Wasp and Hornets
- Social Wasps (like Yellow Jackets, Hornets, and Paper Wasps)
- Solitary Wasps ( like Cicada Killers and Mud Daubers )
Treating hornets and other wasps should be done at night, without shaking or disturbing the nest. You will need a quick spray of Bonide Wasp and Hornet Aerosol or PT Wasp and Hornet Killer.
- Care should be taken when spraying directly on trees and bushes with the product, spraying as little as possible. If you spray on a house, it is recommended that you clean the area the next day, because of their oil bases.
- When dealing with social wasps, such as hornets, wear protective equipment including a bee hat, long-sleeved shirt, coveralls, eyewear, and gloves.
- Locate the wasp nest by examining all protected areas in the vicinity of wasp activity. Just removing the wasp nest will not resolve the problem, because surviving wasps will reconstruct a new one.
- The best strategy is to treat the wasp nest at night when all the workers and queen are present. Spraying into hornets nests should ALWAYS be done at night. They are far less aggressive and are all at home. This tactic maximizes the effect of the pesticide application by killing most if not all of the wasps. If treatment is made at night, avoid shining a light directly on the nest or use a red filter on the flashlight to dim the shine.
- Daytime treatments are successful when the wasp nest is treated, or if the wasps present on the nest are killed. Then, the wasp nest is removed, and the attachment area treated. Returning workers looking for the wasp nest contact the residual and die. Complete the job by removing the wasp nest, particularly if it is in an attic, wall void, etc. This service prevents secondary infestations by dermestids or other pests.
- After treatment of the wasps/hornets nests, continue to monitor the area for wasp activity.
- Hornets and Yellow Jackets are far more challenging and dangerous to control than paper wasps.
- The best time to treat is at night, when the hornets and wasps are less aggressive.
- Hornets nests have a single opening, usually toward the bottom, where the wasps enter and exit.
- It is essential that the paper envelope of the nest not be broken open during treatment or the angry wasps will scatter in all directions, causing even greater problems.
- A full wasp suit sealed at the wrists, ankles, and collar is recommended when disposing of a hornet nest.
- Treatment of wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets is best performed at night; paper wasps can be eliminated during the daytime provided you do not stand directly below the nest during treatment.
- Most wasp and hornet sprays cause insects to drop instantly when contacted by the insecticide.
- Standing directly below a nest increases one’s risk of being stung.
- Spraying into wasp nests should ALWAYS be done at night. Wasps are far less aggressive and are all at home. Caution should be taken when inspecting wasps nest during the day.
Wasps Nests vary in size, shape and locations. They can be enclosed or open. Some are found under eaves, and others like yellow jackets are located in the ground. Typical areas include, around bushes or trees, under eaves, under exterior fixtures, around door and window frames. Wasps will seek locations that are left undisturbed to build their nests.
Recommended Wasp Control Products
Aerosols – Get A Quick Knockdown
PT Wasp & Hornet Freeze, Wasp-X, Bonide Wasp & Hornet Aerosol are aerosols that would give a very quick knock down of the wasp nest. You can spray as far away as 15-20 feet. These quick kill wasp aerosols have oily bases, so care should be considered when using not to stain a surface. EcoPco Jet Contact Insecticide Aerosol is another alternative. The ECO PCO line is much less toxic than other insecticides because they are made up of botanical lines.
We recommend Stryker Wasp and Hornet or Styker 54 Aerosols
- Stryker Wasp & Hornet Killer
- PT Wasp & Hornet Freeze
- Wasp X Wasp & Hornet Spray
- Bonide Wasp & Hornet Aerosol
- EcoExempt Jet Contact Aerosol
Insecticide Dusts – Void areas – Kill Emerging Wasps
Insecticide dusts will deter wasps or hornets from returning the following season and kill emerging wasps. It will continue to kill for 6 months or more in areas where the dust is protected.
- Tempo Dust – Has a high success rate against stinging insects.
- Dusters- Will help dust into these areas.
Residual Liquid Insectides – Spray Future Nesting Areas
Spray in the area of the wasp infestation with LambdaStar UltraCap 9.7 or Cyper WSP. These are concentrated insecticides that you mix with water. Spraying around the area where they have a tendency to nest would give you control and help prevent future nesting. You can use both of these concentrated insecticides for a wide variety of general household pests.
LambdaStar Ultra Cap 9.7 leaves no visible residue while Cyper WSP (wettable-powder) may leave a powder-film like a residue seen against dark surfaces.
- LambdaStar UltraCap 9.7 – residual spray to spray vulnerable wasp nesting areas(prevent future nesting sites).
- Cyper WSP – residual spray to treat and prevent furture nesting sites.
Difference between a Wasp and a Bee
The main difference between and wasp and bee is that wasps feed on other insects, while mostly paralyzed arthropods and bees feed on a mixture of pollen and nectar. Wasps have smooth bodies as opposed to bees that have hairy bodies. They are about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch long in a variety of colors and shapes. They live off other insects, primarily spiders.
Types of Wasps – Social Wasps and Solitary Wasps
There are two types of wasps, social wasps, and solitary wasps. The social wasps such as Yellow Jackets, Hornets, and Paper Wasps usually have a larger population than solitary wasps, like Mud Daubers and Cicada Killers. The stinging wasps belong to the family, Vespidae. Solitary wasps also sting but are used primarily for subduing prey (the solitary wasps rarely sting humans).One way to identify a stinging wasp is to note their wings when they are at rest. They fold their wings lengthwise, making them seem half as wide as they are. Most wasps build their nest from wood fibers, producing a paper shelter. These wasps are inactive during the winter months and hide in protective coverings. The queen makes the nests and feeds the young larvae.
Most social wasps live in nests and defend it aggressively and are vespid wasps (family Vespidae)
The Bald-faced hornet (Dolicho-vespula maculata (sometimes called white-faced hornet), European or giant hornet (Vespra crabro) and Yellow Jackets (Vespula spp.) are prominent structure-infesting wasps. The Yellowjackets are the smallest of the common vespids. These wasps of the Vespid family are beneficial social wasps that live in colonies with thousands of individuals. These hornets are threatening because of their opportunistic behavior of nesting in structural voids, attics, and any cavities in landscaping features. The scavenge in trash containers and look for food and drinks that are consumed outdoors. They will eat ripe fruit in gardens and vineyards. As the temperature cools in the fall months with reduced food supplies, they may seek shelter in warm shelters, invading human structures. Since their colonies peak in the late summer and fall, their colonies are most noticeable. Paper Wasps are social wasps, they are also called umbrella wasps, due the shape of their nests.
- Typical “wasp” body type: – a short, narrow attachment between the thorax and the abdomen, which is spindle-shaped and tipped with a long stinger.
- Thorax and abdomen brightly marked with yellow, red or brown on a black background. Many hornets are confused with yellow jackets.
Paper Wasps-Polistes spp, Family Vespidae. These wasps are also called umbrella wasps, due the the shape of their nests.
Yellow jackets have bright yellow and black patterns. As a social wasp, they will aggressively defend their nests. Yellow Jackets have thin waists, while bees have a thicker waist. The typically build their nests in the ground. Many times their nests start from an abondoned animal burrow.They feed on meats and sweets.
- Nests: Yellow Jackets may form nest in the ground or in structures.
- Control: The best way is to locate and treat the nests at night. It you can not treat the nest, there are yellow jacket bait stations that are effective.
- Learn more about their control at Yellow Jacket Control.
Bald-faced Hornet – white and black.
Paper Wasps have a coloration of yellow, brown or red patterns on black.The Paper Wasp of the family Poliste, commonly builds its nest under the eaves of houses or porch roofs. Paper Wasps are social wasps. Paper wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets construct nests of a paper-like material which is a mixture of finely chewed wood fragments and salivary secretions of the wasps. Paper wasps typically build their umbrella-shaped nests under eaves and ledges.
Paper Wasps Control: These wasps are not as aggressive as yellow jackets or hornets and can be eliminated rather easily with a wasp and hornet sprays such as Bonide Wasp and Hornet Killer or PT Wasp and Hornet Killer.
Ater that, dust an insecticidal dust like Tempo Dust into the their entrance at night. Wear protective clothing and try not to use any lights. Even with Paper Wasp, you still can get stung. Treatment can be accomplished by applying a wasp and Hornet aerosols.
Giant European Insect Hornets
Giant European Insect Hornets have yellow and brown coloring. They will aggressively defend their nests. A fertilized queen hibernates during the winter and emerges in the spring to establish new nests. Each colony may have 300 or more workers. They are active during the summer and spring months and are attracted to sweet foods. They are not as aggressive as yellow jackets. Some hornets are yellow and black and are confused with Yellow Jackets.
Nest: Giant European Hornet nests resemble a large, inverted tear-drop shaped ball that typically is attached to a tree, bush or side of a building. Hornet nests may contain thousands of wasps which are extremely aggressive when disturbed. Hornets are most commonly found in hollow trees. However, hornets nests also can be found in barns, attics, hollow walls, and abandoned bee hives. The hornets nests built in unprotected places are covered with a brown envelope (paper) composed of chewed plant fibers. They gather bark from trees and leave small rings around the trunks of the trees. Many Hornets have large grayish-brown cartons like structure, they are often hanging from a tree or bush.
Control: Follow the general guidelines of wasp/hornet control above. First, inspect to locate nests, then treat the nest at night.
Solitary Wasps (Non-Social)
The solitary wasps are Sphecid wasps. Cicada Killers, Mud Daubers, Potter Wasps, Spider Hunter Wasps, Cricket hunter wasps belong to this group. This species has one female that builds either one nest or several distinct nests. Cartons are not used in these nests. Each nest has several cells. Prey (another insect or spider) is placed in a cell with an egg laid on top; then the cell is sealed. They do not fold their wings when they fly like social wasps. Some solitary wasps build their nests in the ground, like digger wasps and cicada killers. The Cicada Killer, a solitary wasp, is mistaken for a hornet. Cicada killers are very common in the USA.
The female Cicada Killer will drag the paralyzed cicadas, and the larvae will consume the live cicada in the next several days to a couple of weeks. A burrow may have up to 20 cells with 1-2 cicadas and one egg per cell. The egg hatches into larvae to feed on the Cicada. The larvae spin a cocoon afterward and enter a dormancy thru the winter(overwinter) and pupate the following spring, continuing the cycle.
Control and Prevention
- If you notice fresh holes or developing nest, you can try applying Tempo Dust to the entrance of the holes. When the holes are new, you still have a potential to kill the larvae and adults.
- A more permanent and preventative method would be to apply Bifen LP Granules over the whole area and water it in. The Bifen LP Granules would not yield immediate results, but stop them from returning the following year.
Mud Dauber carrrying mud, before flying.
Mud Dauber nest that is covered with mud.
Mud daubers build different types of nests from mud. Some nests are globular nests and some are ogan-pipe nests.
Mud Dauber Identity
- 1/4- to 2-inches in length.
- Dull black or brown to brilliant red, yellow or blue, many with a metallic sheen to the bodies or wings.
- Wasp body type, frequently with a long slender petiole (connection) between the abdomen and the thorax.
Mud Daubers and sphecid wasps which are solitary wasps. Many people mistake the Cicada Killer, for hornets. True hornets do not excavate burrows in the ground, such as the Cicada Killer.
Habits: Mud Daubers come out in the spring. At this time they mate and build their nests. They either capture or sting insects or spiders for food. For this reason, solitary wasps are seen as beneficial insects.
Cicada killers and spider wasps burrow in the ground to build their nests. The cicada killers, spider wasps, and digger wasps can be highly active in high traffic areas like lawns and may be of concern. They can be controlled by applying residual dusts such as Tempo Dust into the burrows. We have several dusters for application of dusts.
Mud Dauber wasps are not social wasps. Many paralyze spiders to provision mud cells built to enclose eggs, larvae, and pupae. The mud cells form long clay tubes or large lumps. Mud Daubers are slender; they are shiny black or brown, orange or yellow, with black markings. Many have long slender thread waists.
Like Carpenter bees there is no protective worker caste; these wasps are not aggressive; they will not sting unless pressed or handled. Mud Daubers place their mud nests in protected places like electric motors, sheds, attics, against house siding and under porch ceilings.
Mud dauber and potter wasps can be eliminated easily by tearing down the nests and killing the adults with an aerosol product such as Stryker 54 Aerosol Contact Insect Spray
Health Risks: Mud Daubers have stingers but are usually not aggressive and sting only when handled.
Have you ever been surprised by ground hornets buzzing and biting? These ground wasp are quite large that use dry earth to build their wasp nest in ground. They like the soft, powdery ground as it is ideal for them to build their home – usually in abandoned rodent burrows.
When it comes to their size, ground hornets are quite imposing, measuring about 0.5 inches in length, but sometimes even more.
People often use the terms “wasps” and “hornet” to describe Yellow Jackets with its bright yellow and orange stripes.
Hornets are problematic because of two aspects: for starters, they have quite a dangerous sting, especially if you are allergic to it.
Young children are more susceptible to having an adverse reaction to the wasp sting and since these hornets often choose the sandbox as their building site, this is a problem.
The other thing is their nature. The adult hornets are ferocious predators, feeding on beneficial insects that are very important to the garden eco-system.
When a single hornet is squashed or just disturbed, it releases a pheromone that will attract more of them. This can lead to bigger attacks.
Where Do Ground Hornets Live?
In order to effectively get rid of them, first you have to assess the situation. The best is when you are able to see the signs way before the problem develops into a bit of an emergency.
When there are ground wasps in your garden or anywhere else on your property, there will be clear signs of it.
These wasps don’t like wet ground, that’s the most important clue. You have to pay attention to the dry areas. The driest spot will always be the best spot for them to start their little construction project.
They can live in moist ground but that’s not really what they prefer, so never look there first.
Telltale Signs Of An Underground Hornets Nest
If you see small, grainy pieces of dirt piled up and a hole close to them, you can be sure that you either already have a hornet infestation, or you could find yourself dealing with one in the near future.
The ground wasp nest could be randomly built but always look for the signs in the driest areas first.
How to get rid of hornets naturally (Related Reading): 6 Natural Ways For getting Rid Of Wasps
Ground Hornets Life Cycle
Depending on where you live, the hornets’ life cycle could fall on different dates. In North America they are typically between July and August.
The little hornets who play with each other grow into dangerous killers pretty quickly, in less than a month. At full-sized, they don’t back down.
Hornets don’t attack unless provoked. Of course that doesn’t have to be voluntary, it’s perfectly enough to sit on the little guy without noticing it.
A ground hornets stings itself can be dangerous not just from an allergy standpoint, but in rare cases the venom can cause an infection and even sepsis if not treated.
Ground Hornet Nest Removal – What It Means
Removing hornets nest usually equals killing ground hornets, preferably all at once so they can’t start over and create another underground wasp nest or repopulate the existing one. If you fail to kill all of them the little ones can come back later.
Even if the removal process is successful, that doesn’t mean other wasps and hornets cannot be back.
When To Remove Ground Hornets
Doing the procedure at night or shortly after sunset is a good idea. The reason is that hornets do not see well. The process will obviously cause a ruckus during which some of them can get away and try to identify their attacker.
Since they do not see well, the chances of being stung will be reduced.
How To Get Rid Of Ground Hornets – Removal Methods
3 Methods on How To Kill Ground Hornets:
1. Using Hornet Bait Kits & Meat
Some people are shocked when the find out that hornets are meat eaters but the truth is that nothing is as enticing for them as fresh meat (unless they are on their sweet tooth diet).
With the right combination of meat and insecticide the hornets have no chance.
You can buy bait station kits online or at your local gardening shop (most likely).
These kits usually come with clear instructions but just in case they don’t, this is how it should go down: first set up the station, then mix the insecticide with the meat before putting the trap out.
It is best to use this method during the spring and summer months, as hornets prefer a completely different diet during the colder, fall months (mostly consisted of carbohydrates, plant based materials). The baiting method can deal with the scavenging hornets as well.
The trapping method can work when you are not exactly sure where the nest is, or how many nests are on your property. Using fruit juice or meat allows you to lure the insects in from a close but unidentified spot, trapping them inside. There are several underground wasp trap kits available.
3. Lemon Ammonia
You can purchase the stuff at many stores, even the supermarket. You will need two or three (possibly even four) gallons of it depending on the severity of your hornet situation. You should also buy some plastic knives as they will be crucial to the process.
Just like the vast majority of these methods, the removal will happen during the night. First try to find the giant ground hornet nests with the above described method (check for telltale signs on the driest areas of your lawn) before marking them with the plastic knives for the night showdown.
During the day a lot of the hornets will likely be out exploring or hunting, so they will not bother you if you are gentle enough. Simply put the plastic knife close to the hole so you will easily find it during the night (don’t collapse it). Leave just enough out for you to notice.
Once the Sun is down, carefully approach the nests with the ammonia and a plastic cup. At or after 11 pm the hornets will likely be asleep or nesting which makes the process easier for you. With a flashlight or your phone in your hand, approach the holes you marked earlier.
Once you are there, pour two to three cups of ammonia into each hole. If you don’t have enough of the stuff, you can mix it with water but never go below a one-to-one ratio. The knives should stay until the next day where you will repeat the process one more time.
How to Safely Get Rid of a Wasp Infestation
Few pest infestations are more frightening than an invasion of wasps — and for good reason. Venomous, territorial and aggressive, wasps are not to be taken lightly. There are right ways and wrong ways to deal with them, and wasps are not the type of pest that leaves room for strategies based on trial and error. People typically can deal with most wasp infestations on their own. Some of the more aggressive species and less-accessible infestations, however, should be handled only by professionals.
First, Know What You’re Dealing With
Some people lump common honeybees and wasps together in their minds. They are related and they display similar behaviors, but they are two very different creatures, and a wasp infestation is far more dangerous than the arrival of unwelcome honeybees.
Although wasp colonies are generally much smaller than those of honeybees—ranging from just a few wasps to 5,000 or more in a single colony, compared with more than 50,000 for bees—individual wasps are much bigger than bees. They’re more aggressive and, unlike common bees that die after a single sting, wasps can sting multiple times in sustained attacks.
There are more than 100,000 species of wasps. Some don’t sting at all, and some are solitary insects. But many species, like yellow jackets and hornets, are known to launch unrelenting attacks in massive swarms when they feel threatened. With species that rank among the most dangerous insects in the US, the worst wasp attacks can be fatal to animals and humans.
Tip: Don’t swat a wasp outside! During an attack, some wasps emit a chemical pheromone that acts as a call to war for others in the nest. Even if you succeed in killing a lone wasp, you could trigger a much larger attack. Swatting also is a bad idea in the home because a miss is likely to make the insect aggressive. Instead, purchase a chemical spray.
Wasp or Bee?
Unlike their smaller, hair-covered honeybee relatives, wasps generally are larger and have smooth bodies, which are sometimes covered in stripes or bright yellow or orange markings. They have four wings, and their defining characteristics are very narrow waists and long, dangling legs. Yellow jackets are common across the entire eastern US, particularly the Southeast. They often are mistaken for bees because their yellow-and-black bodies look similar, but they are faster, they often fly side to side, and they are much more aggressive than bees.
Hornets are much larger than bees, yellow jackets and most other wasps, sometimes growing as long as two inches. They also are commonly found throughout the eastern US.
Unlike honeybees that create hives in chambers such as hollowed-out logs, many wasps build nests, and these nests can remain hidden under eaves or in wall hollows.
Spotting the Nest
If you think you have a wasp problem, the goal is to find and destroy the nest.
Yellow jackets create nests underground that sometimes are discovered accidentally — and often painfully — while a person is mowing or gardening.
Hornet nests, which are by far the most difficult and dangerous to deal with, look like mushy gray or grayish-brown footballs and usually are found attached to trees or the sides of homes.
If you think you’ve spotted a hornets’ nest, your best bet is to call a pest professional right away because these nests are notoriously durable and difficult to penetrate and destroy.
Common paper wasps build nests that look like upside-down umbrellas. They usually are found in the open, along rooflines or under eaves.
European hornets build nests that are covered in a papery material. They can be found both indoors and out, in attics, inside walls, on trees, on the sides of buildings or in bushes.
Mud wasps build relatively small nests in existing masonry cracks…or sometimes in attics or under decks.
Helpful hint: No matter what kind of wasp you are dealing with, your strategy for locating the nest (if the location isn’t obvious) is the same. When you see a wasp, observe it from a safe distance and watch where it goes. If it enters a hole or gap in your home, that likely is the entrance to the nesting site.
Using Chemical Treatments
If you decide to treat the nest on your own, which some people do to save money or simply because they are DIYers at heart, it should be attempted only where nests are visible and accessible. If you suspect wasps are hidden within walls or other concealed places, professional services are recommended.
You can use one of the commonly available chemical spray treatments sold under brand names such as Black Flag, Spectracide and Repel. Make sure that you buy a spray designed specifically for wasps, including hornets and yellow jackets. The chemicals in these sprays have been specifically designed and tested to destroy these insects.
Practice with a brief test spray away from the nest outdoors. Then plan a short escape route indoors, aim at the nest, spray until you have covered the nest and retreat inside. Monitor the nest for activity, and repeat as needed throughout the day.
Caution! Never attempt to treat a nest if a ladder or any sort of climbing is required. A single sting could trigger a fall, leaving you injured and unable to retreat from the rest of the swarm.
Spray with the wind at your back, and wear protective eyewear along with long clothing to protect against both chemical contact and stings.
Pro tip: Never place yourself between the sun and a wasp nest. Wasps react to shadows and often become agitated and aggressive when shadows move over their nests. They are known to attack the source of the shadow by flying toward the sun.
Treat Wasp Nests at Night
If you decide to treat a wasp nest yourself, it is better to wait until after dark for two reasons. First, the wasps won’t have the sun to orient themselves for an attack. Second, all the wasps are back in the nest and accounted for at night.
Remember: Don’t use a flashlight! The light is likely to agitate the wasps and give them a focal point for attack.
Some people want to avoid using chemicals because they prefer more natural remedies for infestations. They can try treating nests with soap and water, which can suffocate the wasps and kill them.
Be careful! Unlike chemical spray treatments that knock wasps down immediately, soap and water may have a delayed effect. There is no set soap-to-water ratio, but the water should be visibly soapy. Commercially purchased wasp sprays come in aerosol cans that can spray more than 20 feet, a distance you should try to match or beat with your delivery method. A common spray bottle will force you to get too close. Products such as Ladder Saver and Little Big Shot are extension nozzles that expand the reach of garden hoses by dozens of feet, and these may be adequate to accurately hit a wasp nest with soapy water from a safe distance. While soap and water has been proven to kill wasps, it is important to note that chemical sprays are likely to achieve the best and safest results.
Finish the Job
No matter the treatment, destroy the nest after killing the wasps. When a treatment kills all the workers, pupae remain in the nest. If the nest is not dismantled and destroyed, those pupae could hatch and become active. Once you are certain that there is no more activity — after multiple sprays, if necessary — use a long-handled tool such as a rake or shovel to knock down the nest. If you are certain that there is no longer any activity in or around the nest, it is OK to climb a ladder to carefully remove it. Wear protective gloves…and break the nest apart and saturate it with more spray before disposing of it in the trash or as yard waste.
Getting rid of wasp nests: what to do & what not to do
There are many sources online advising on the best DIY methods to remove a wasp nest. Wasps are aggressive creatures and require little to no aggravation to attack, so trying to remove a wasp nest yourself can cost you both financially and physically. DIY wasp nest removal is not advised!
1. Burning a wasp nest
Using fire to remove a wasp nest is a very dangerous task and is not a successful way to eradicate the wasps. Wasp nests are made from a thin papery substance produced by chewing wood into a pulp, making it extremely flammable. Because of this, burning a wasp nest can often lead to not only your property catching fire, but also you suffering painful burns.
Another problem with burning a wasp nest is that it is not an effective way to control a wasp problem. This is because it doesn’t kill all the wasps. It can lead to the remaining wasps in the nest becoming violent, as well as the wasps out foraging for food, resulting in them attacking you and any bystanders.
Using water is often regarded as another way to get rid of a wasp nest. The truth is that flooding a wasp nest isn’t an effective method at all. Depending on the location of the nest, using water to remove a wasp nest can result in further damages to your property. For example, if the wasp nest is in your attic, trying to remove the nest by flooding it could cause water damage to your attic beams and ceiling plaster boards.
Trying to flood a nest won’t get rid of all the wasps inhabiting the hive either. Similar to the effects of trying to burn a wasp nest, the wasps will become vicious and begin to attack, leaving you with a handful of painful stings.
3. Destroying a wasp nest with a baseball bat
Destroying a wasp nest with a bat, racket or any other item is another talked about removal option. Trying to remove a wasp nest by destroying it with a baseball bat will put you at direct risk of getting stung, not only once but multiple times. This can be particularly dangerous if you are allergic to wasp stings as you could go into anaphylactic shock.
This method of DIY wasp nest removal puts you in close proximity to the hive, which is often enough to aggravate them to trigger an attack. Trying to remove a wasp nest using a baseball bat can often result in you being stung before the task has started.
How to Get Rid of a Wasp Nest
It may surprise you to learn that we are moving into the most aggressive portion of wasp and hornet season. We normally envision these flying pests swarming around picnic tables and landing on lemonade drinks in prime summer months. In the spring, the queen wasp is just starting to build her colony. By late fall, the colony will reach its maximum size, with nests that can house as many as 5000 insects.
TERRO® Wasp & Hornet Killer can easily kill these dreaded pests before they have a chance to sting. Wasp & Hornet Killer is an entrapping foam spray that coats nests for a total kill. The entrapping hornet foam spray not only kills wasps and hornets inside the nest, it remains on the nest and kills unsuspecting insects that have the misfortune to return. And it goes the distance! Nests are often located in hard to reach places so you’ll appreciate the powerful jet spray that shoots up to 20 feet away. This also allows you to stand a safe distance away from the nest, reducing any fear of being stung.
How to Spray a Wasp Nest
The best time to plan your attack is at sunrise or dusk, when these insects are least active. And remember to wait 24 hours to remove the nest, to ensure that the majority of the insects are dead or have flown away from the nest.
You can additionally keep wasps from entering your home by using the foaming spray around typical entry points, including gaps around outdoor plumbing and vents, crack and crevices in the foundation, and along window sills and ledges.
Check out our video below with Stew Clark and see our Wasp & Hornet Killer in action!
How to Get Rid of Hornets in Bushes
Hornets can be unwanted pests when they are close to the home.
Thin the number of hornets in the colony from a distance. When nests are located in bushes, they can be difficult to access without being disturbed. Place lure traps in the area around the nest. Fill two or three 1-gallon or similar-size buckets or soda bottles half full with water. Tie string around a piece of meat small enough to fit inside the neck of the bottle — beef, pork or chicken will work — and secure the string to the edge of the container. This can be done by tying the other end of the string around the neck or taping it to the side of the bucket with duct tape. When the hornets have eaten their fill, they will be too ungainly to fly and should fall into the water and drown. Change the bait every other day for several days.
Kill larger numbers of hornets with commercial sprays. This can be done first from a distance, spraying the insecticide on the outside of the nest. After activity outside the nest has slowed, get close enough to see where the hole is; there generally is one in the bottom of the nest. Wearing protective clothing, eye wear and head wear, spray the insecticide directly into the hole. Repeat as often as necessary until there is no visible activity outside of the nest. Follow the label instructions for the proper use of insecticides.
Place the nest inside a heavy-duty garbage bag and tie it shut. If the nest is in the bushes, this can be a tricky method, even with protective gear. If no hornets are visible, the nest can be broken off in pieces. A safer alternative may be to remove the entire branch and trash it.